A DECADE after their stunning comeback from the dead, the market-leading Daily News and the Daily News On Sunday continue to set the standards in local journalism.
This comes as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has singled out the two titles for special praise, for their fair and balanced reportage ahead of tomorrow’s crucial by-elections.
In advertisements on media conduct ahead of the special polls which were placed in all major newspapers yesterday, Zec chairperson for its media monitoring committee, Joyce Kazembe, applauded the iconic publications for their professionalism and evenhandedness.
While the committee is chaired by Zec, the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) and the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) are key partners in its work.
“The committee applauds media under the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ) stable (the Daily News and the Daily News On Sunday) that continue to inform and educate the Zimbabwean voting public about electoral processes and political contestations without bias,” it said unambiguously.
“The committee has noted with concern the rampant use of hate language, violence, skewed coverage, symbolic obliteration of some political parties and general disregard of ethical and professional principles of the journalism profession.
“This is also in breach of Constitutional provisions. The committee also notes with concern the growing attacks on the electoral process, which has the potential of creating voter apathy and a negative perception of the electoral process.
“It is only when the media plays its role, as the Fourth Estate, in reporting factually, objectively and fairly on the current political events that the electorate can make informed decisions,” Zec added.
Commenting on this latest affirmation of the Daily News and the Daily News On Sunday, Group Editor-in-Chief Guthrie Munyuki thanked all the papers’ key stakeholders for their continued support of credible journalism in the country.
“All our work is firmly rooted in the tradition of ‘telling it like it is, without fear or favour’. It’s no wonder, therefore, that all our media offerings have become influential and indispensable lodestars on the local socio-political and economic landscapes.
“Indeed, our products are loved and followed by hundreds of thousands of people across the country and in the diaspora every single day of the week for their independence, balance and contribution to national debates and democratic discourse.
“I congratulate and challenge all my colleagues across the group, who form the cream of content talent in the country, to escalate their excellent work which is increasingly being recognised by Zimbabweans,” Munyuki said.
“The continuing success of the Daily News and the Daily News On Sunday is even more remarkable when one factors in their violent and unjust closure in September 2003.
“When we re-launched our operations in 2011, very few people gave us a chance then, with many of the late former president Robert Mugabe’s minions — who had presided over that closure for eight long years — sure that we would never be a news force again. Boy, were they wrong!
“A decade later, we are not just still here, but thriving — both editorially and commercially — to the disbelief of our few remaining detractors. Not surprisingly too, our stunning success has sometimes spawned completely false and neurotic conspiracies about us,” Munyuki added.
“In addition to the support of our readers and advertisers, our success has been underpinned by a winning strategy premised on offering unique, riveting and balanced content — which is what differentiates us from other media houses.
“Our solemn vow to our valued readers and partners is that all our group media offerings will continue to tell the Zimbabwean story like it is, as we have always done,” he said further.
The Daily News and the Daily News On Sunday recently celebrated a remarkable 10 years back since their seemingly impossible relaunch in March 2011 — having been shut down violently and unjustly by the government of the day in September 2003.
ANZ — together with Modus Media which publishes the country’s number one business publication, The Financial Gazette, as well the newly-launched independent television station, 3Ktv, and a plethora of other lesser known media assets — is a subsidiary of Jester Media Services which was incorporated three decades ago.